Russia-based Yota Devices has been working on a curious beast called the YotaPhone for years now, and it’s gained quite a reputation for itself because of its split personality. While the front of the phone sports a traditional LCD screen, the back plays home to a power-sipping eInk display because… well, why not?
The launch date was one of the last big questions left unanswered, but that’s no longer the case: the company has just confirmed to us that the YotaPhone will launch internationally before Christmas.
Frankly, it’s about time they’re getting this thing out the door considering just how long they’ve been teasing it to the public. Word of device first started making the rounds late last year, and an a very early version of the phone made public appearances at massive trade shows like CES and MWC (you can see our CES footage of the thing below). And it isn’t exactly a surprise that the company was gearing up for an official launch either — earlier this year the Russian company was confirmed it would start the mass production process with the help of a Singaporean manufacturer called Hi-P.
Still, the news may come as a bummer to some of YotaPhone’s biggest fans, as an earlier report out of Russia claimed that the Yota subsidiary would be pushing the device out the door some time in November. Those same reports also claimed that the YotaPhone would ship with a €500 price tag attached to it, but so far company representatives have remained mum when it came to cost.
That long-than-expected gap between promotion and production may have done the YotaPhone more harm than good. There’s little doubting that it raised plenty of eyebrows, but the spec sheet is looking a bit long in the tooth compared to the competition — the final production model is going to feature a dual-core 1.7GHz chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch 720p screen upfront, and a seemingly paltry 1800mAh battery. Granted, it shouldn’t be a total slouch with components like those, but the big question is whether or not the gimmicky second screen will be enough to tempt potential customers away from more prominent rivals like Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and more.
This is a developing story, please refresh for updates.